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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 01, 1949

FROM THE DIARY OF N.V. ROSHCHIN, MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION WITH CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG ON 20 OCTOBER 1949

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Record of a dinner between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Mao Zedong. Roshchin notes that the mood of dinner is very friendly, with each man toasting the other and the other's country. The two also discuss China's desire to establish diplomatic relations with Albania.
    "From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong on 20 October 1949," December 01, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, f. 0100, op. 42, por. 19, pap.288, ll. 32-33. Translated for CWIHP by David Wolff. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117881
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From the Diary of N. V. ROSHCHIN

Top Secret, Copy 4, 1 December 1949, No.110

Memorandum of Conversation with the chairman of the People’s Government of China MAO ZEDONG on 20 October 1949

On 20 October at 2000 hours, the Ambassador was invited to dinne r with the head of the government Mao Zedong. Making use of the opportunity, the Ambassador transmitted the contents of telegram #154 from the USSR Foreign Ministry regarding the recognition of the GDR. Mao thanked me and announced that the Chinese government had already sent a greeting and tomorrow would discuss recognition and the exchange of diplomatic missions with the GDR.

After this, Com. Mao Zedong told me that until now they have [heard] nothing from the government of Albania, and they would like to establish diplomatic relations. At present, said Mao, we don’t even know the family name of the foreign minister.  [Sino-Albanian relations were established on 23 November 1949—ed.]

He also said that it would be desirable for me to transmit this opinion to the Soviet government. I replied that I would report this most urgently.

During dinner Mao thrice toasted Com. Stalin’s health and also toasted the Soviet people and Soviet army. Mao Zedong also made a short toast to the final victory of the camp of peace, democracy, progress, and revolution and the final defeat of the camp of war, reaction, and counterrevolution, noting that the tempo of events continues to increase; The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cut a path from Kharbin [Haerbin] to Canton [Guangzhou] in less than a year, for which all calculations required 2-3 years.

Mao Zedong was extremely friendly at the table and in very good humor. He joked, told Chinese historical anecdotes, in particular about the Han-dynasty ambassador Su Yue, who lived in captivity for nearly 20 years.

The Ambassador returned with toasts to Mao’s health, to the government, to the Chinese people, to the PLA. The dinner ended at 2130, after which the Ambassador went immediately to the station to send off Ambassador Wang Jiaxiang, leaving at 2200 for Moscow.

Present at the dinner were Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Gao Gang, Liu Shaoqi, Nie Rongzhen, Lin Zhuhan, Li Kenong, Wang Jiaxiang, Shi Zhe (Karskii), and also the chairman of the GMD [Guomindang] Revolutionary Committee Li Jishen, chairman of the Democratic League Zhang Lan, and the newly appointed deputy chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee the Hunan general who went over to the PLA Cheng Qian.

Because the presence of these last three, Com. Mao Zedong avoided conversations on serious political matters. On our side, present were Embassy Counselor S. L. Tikhvinskii and the Director of the Beijing General Consulate Com. S. S. Seregin.

USSR Ambassador to the PRC N. Roshchin